Regulator orders CIC to stop ‘misrepresenting’ itself as a charity

24 May 2024 News

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) logo


The Scottish charity regulator has directed a community interest company (CIC) to stop “misrepresenting” itself as a charity following an investigation. 

OSCR published an inquiry report this month on TWSPP CIC, also known as the World Suicide Prevention Project, which concludes that the organisation “has been misrepresenting itself as a charity in Scotland”.

A separate company called the World Suicide Prevention Project was registered as a Scottish charity last year but OSCR said it was concerned that TWSPP CIC was presenting itself as the same organisation.

TWSPP social media pages ‘misleading’

TWSPP CIC was incorporated on 28 June 2022 while separate limited company the World Suicide Prevention Project was registered as a Scottish charity on 12 April 2023.

In its report, OSCR said it had been concerned by social media posts on several platforms implying that TWSPP CIC was Scottish registered charity the World Suicide Prevention Project.

“From 12 April 2023, the posts on the TWSPP Facebook pages are misleading and imply that the fundraising activities are being carried out by and for the charity when they aren’t,” the report reads.

“All funds raised by said fundraising activities went to TWSPP CIC, not the charity; TWSPP CIC has been misrepresenting itself as the charity called the World Suicide Prevention Project.”

As a result, on 3 May OSCR issued a direction requiring TWSPP CIC to stop representing itself as a charity registered in Scotland.

The direction expires on 3 November 2024 but can be revoked or varied by OSCR before then if it determines it appropriate to do so.

Funds were to be transferred, says TWSPP founder 

In a video posted on Facebook earlier this week, TWSPP CIC founder Danny Thain addressed the way his organisation has been “portrayed”.

He said: “When we first set up TWSPP, as everybody knew, it was set up as a CIC, which is a non-profit organisation, a community interest company. 

“That was what it was set up for, get up and go, you could set it up instantly. It was recognised as a funding body and could be taking donations safely, securely and trustily. That’s why we set it up. 

“We set up a charity and the charity was set up, wired up, for a rehabilitation centre. When it was being set up with the solicitor, it was said that everything to do with us was going to be for […] individuals that were above 18 years old to come to our rehabilitation centre for more than a week.

“We got back and lost our deposit. The idea for the rehabilitation centre wasn’t even a thing. The whole idea was to pass absolutely everything over to the charity. 

“Our accountants said: ‘Do your accounts first for transparency, then pass absolutely everything over to the charity.’”

Plan to wind up organisation

Thain said that by the time the accounts were done, he was “extremely burnt out, ready to walk away”.

“Because we went to wind up the charity, OSCR just did its job. That’s the only thing it could be said as: that it was misrepresenting itself. And it wasn’t misrepresenting itself, not at all […].

“Every single penny has been accounted for and the people that are saying that I’ve taken off to the other side of the world with that money couldn’t be further from the truth.

“We’ve got an accountant and all the accounts have been done. If there was any silly money that had been taken in regards to a large chunk unaccounted for, with no name as to why it’s left the account, it would’ve been flagged and said. You would’ve gone to jail for that. 

“I’ve been paid [...] to be doing the work I’ve been doing, I’ve been working for two years, helping copious amounts of people […].

“There was no funny business here. OSCR has only done its job and represented it the way that it was. It wasn’t because I was trying to hide anything through our charity. The charity did exist, we had charitable status but it was set up for a rehabilitation centre.” 

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